Before I saw the light and became saved (See my other post, “What Is The Path To God?”), I witnessed a lot of hypocrisy in religion. There were people who claimed to be Christian that committed adultery, stole, lied, used bad language, and was prideful, greedy, and lustful, to name a few. I thought to myself, “What do I want with Christianity or any religion, for that matter, if this is what it produces?!!”
So maybe you are someone who is skeptical about Christianity, like I was. Maybe you were raised religious like my wife, who was raised Catholic, and became disenchanted with the Catholic Church, because of what she was exposed to or the hypocrisies that she witnessed. Or maybe you were treated or judged unfairly at your last church? Unfortunately, all religions are flawed to some extent! All religions are operationally flawed, which means that inevitably people’s feelings will be hurt, ideas/opinions/suggestions ignored, and actions judged, leading to personal conflict and periods of perceived chaos. But some religions are also theologically flawed! At least bible-based Christianity is not theologically flawed!
There are two crucial principles that you have to consider when witnessing the hypocrisies in Christianity and trying to formulate your opinions:
1. God is not flawed, even though humans, who run the church and religious worship, are.
2. We are sinners. It is in our nature. And even if you are saved, there is always a war inside you between the flesh and the Holy Spirit that dwells within you. Therefore, man’s error should not be reflected on God’s image.
Let me explain both in more detail. The first principle is that God is not flawed. He is perfect. So do not base your opinions about God, His Word or His house of worship, on the humans who interpret His Word and run His house of worship. If you had a bad experience in the past, just go and visit as many bible-based churches and different Christian denominations it takes to find the one that feels like home, where you are spiritually fed and you can feel God’s love around you! One bad church or pastor is like going to a bad doctor; just because you went to one bad doctor does not mean they are all bad.
The other principle is that, yes, we are all sinners, even if you are saved. Being saved does not change your nature. It only changes your desire to be more like Christ. So, godly people DO act ungodly at times. We all fall. We all make mistakes. And just because someone is saved, doesn’t mean that he/she won’t slip back into their old habits or tendencies. It doesn’t mean his/her sin is ok either! But the beauty of it is that if we repent our sins and ask God for His forgiveness, He will grant it. Because in Numbers 14:18, it states, “The Lord is slow to anger and filled with unfailing love, forgiving every kind of sin and rebellion.”
So if you have written-off Christianity based on the mistakes made by Christians, can you imagine what our world would be like if that way of thinking applied to other areas of life? For example, can you imagine your parents/coaches/teachers giving up on you, because you made mistakes? Would you feel that their judgment was fair? Or what if they made a generalization that all boys can’t read and all girls can’t learn math, based on a few children who performed poorly in reading and math? It doesn’t make sense.
If God can forgive our sins, mistakes and shortcomings, shouldn’t we forgive those who fall? You can forgive the person, but hate the sin! Therefore, the mistakes made by Christians should not be held against God, His Word or Christianity. Being a Christian does not equate to being perfect. But it does mean that they are striving to be more perfect, like Christ, and that God is working on them to glorify Him. So rethink your opinions about God and Christianity. Having gone through this process of doubt and spiritual searching myself, I know that all you need to change your opinion is to find the right bible-based church, pastor and church members to make you realize what I am writing is true. Believe me, there is nothing better than finding a good pastor, who is wise and can teach you about the Bible; a loving and supportive church family to encourage you; and a warm church to worship and praise our heavenly Father! I hope this helps clear up some of your questions and I pray that you will find your way!